Here is a gun I picked up at a local auction that must have a story attached – perhaps visitors to the site could help me?
It has a P53 type lock externally marked LSA Co and 1868 with a strange pattern just visible in front of the cock – the lock is pretty pitted on the outside, but the inside is shiny & good quality and carries a broad arrow mark and the name Barnett plus the stamp J.C. – Barnett & Co made locks and barrels for the British Government from about 1854(?) It is missing its bridle (holes exist). The barrel appears to be a musket barrel of about .630 bore (not the .656 that was used when Enfields were made in smoothbore), of length 33 inches, giving the gun an overall length of 48 1/2 inches (weight 7 1/2 lbs) The barrel carries the stamped name ‘MANTON & CO CALCUTTA’ as one stamp, followed by ‘& LONDON’ made of individual letter stamps. It carries Liege proof marks – (no it doesn’t, they appear to be Birmingham post 1914 – more research needed- see comments). There is a bayonet boss in the usual place, and a foresight but no rear sight or any sign that one was ever fitted. The trigger guard is stamped with the number 35110 and the butt (LH side) has 88 in one place and 77 in another. The stock looks fairly like a normal P53 stock, although I’m not really familiar with them. It has three old style barrel bands (before Badderley) – the sling swivel is on the muzzle one, the other swivel is on the rear trigger guard screw. The ramrod is steel, and has a somewhat squared end with a slotted jag – no bulge – I can’t see a retaining spring in the stock. Overall it looks ‘of a piece’ and not mucked about with in recent times. The British were at pains to equip the Indian troops with guns that looked like Enfields but were not effective against their own weapons – this gun may have been made up or more probably imported by Manton & Co., Calcutta (at that time run by Wallis) using old British Enfield locks, or maybe old stock complete guns, with the barrels replaced by new smoothbore barrels to ensure inferior performance (and not capable of taking standard issue British ammunition!). It would seem that this gun must be one of many that were issued, hence the 35110 stamped on the trigger guard. Any thoughts gratefully received.